Cargill tied to violence in Sumatra?

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Security forces used by a palm oil supplier to Cargill are using violence and intimidation against villagers in Indonesia, the Rainforest Action Network claims.

The Rainforest Action Network accused palm oil supplier Wilmar of using armed violence against villagers in Sumatra. Heavy machinery, the advocacy group adds, is used by Wilmar to destroy area homes as well.


Lindsey Allen, forest program director at the group, said agricultural trading giant Cargill needs to adopt "crucial" safeguards on its supply chains.

"This is the only way Cargill will be able to guarantee these kinds of gross human rights violations do not continue to be imported into the American food supply," she said in a statement.

The advocacy group claims security forces working for Wilmar arrested one villager for trying to sell palm oil fruits. This in turn sparked conflict between villagers and local police forces. Working with Indonesian police, Wilmar security teams destroyed some village homes and the use of live ammunition was reported during the raids.

Neither company issued a public reaction to the claims made by the Rainforest Action Network. Both have reported investing in activities tied to conservation and other areas of social responsibility.


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